THE CALL SHEET with Kris Tapley is a weekly show that dives deep into the craft of your favorite Netflix films and series with some of the most talented artists and artisans in the game.
Filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood brings a delicate but assured touch to everything she’s involved in, whether on the big screen with films like “Love & Basketball” and “Beyond the Lights,” or in the world of television with projects like the riveting limited series “Shots Fired.” Her latest film, Netflix’s “The Old Guard,” is no exception as the award-winning filmmaker fuses the superhero genre with an uncharacteristic tenderness in an adaptation of the Greg Rucka comic books series.
In this week’s season premiere of “The Call Sheet,” Prince-Bythewood will take you through the new film’s production from beginning to end. She’ll discuss visual choices and editorial and music decisions, and she’ll contextualize the project within the overall framework of her career -- or, as you’ll soon hear her describe it, her fairytale. (Reminder: It’s recommended you watch “The Old Guard” before digging into this conversation!)
Thelma Schoonmaker, Tom Fleischman & Eugene Gearty
Thelma Schoonmaker is the legendary, now eight-time Oscar-nominated, three-time Oscar-winning editor of pretty much all of director Martin Scorsese’s portfolio. She’s as integral to the success of his films as the maestro himself. Their latest work together is “The Irishman,” the Netflix original film that recently racked up 10 Oscar nominations, Schoonmaker’s work among them.
At three-and-a-half hours, the film is a contemporary American epic, and yet it moves like lightning. Each sequence propels the vast narrative forward. On this episode of “The Call Sheet,” Schoonmaker details the work that went into assembling the film, discusses Robert De Niro’s brilliant performance (after having observed his trajectory from the editing suite for decades) and much more. Also, in a bonus interview, sound mixer Tom Fleischman and sound editor Eugene Gearty explain how the power of the film lies in its subtlety and quiet moments.
Susannah Grant is the Oscar-nominated writer of “Erin Brockovich,” “Ever After,” "28 Days” and “In Her Shoes.” Her latest work is Netflix’s limited series “Unbelievable,” a docudrama adapted from reporting published by ProPublica and The Marshall Project that tells the story of two police detectives from different precincts who cracked the case of a serial rapist who carried out his vicious crimes in Colorado and Washington state between 2008 and 2011.
Grant developed the project into an eight-episode depiction of both bungled and bravura police work. It’s also an essential analysis of the cold, systemic realities that victims of sexual assault often face when they make the courageous decision to report the crimes against them. In this episode of “The Call Sheet,” Grant talks about her efforts to avoid one-dimensional portraits of shoddy detective work, developing the look of the series as showrunner and collaborating with series stars Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette and Merritt Wever.
Screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten has penned the Oscar-winning lead acting roles in biopics such as “The Theory of Everything,” “Darkest Hour” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” as of late. His latest film is “The Two Popes,” which tells the story of Pope Benedict’s 2013 resignation as head of the Catholic Church, and current Pope Francis’ reluctant acceptance of the Chair of St. Peter. The script presents a struggle of wills and ideas, Benedict representing the Church’s strong traditionalist roots, and Francis representing a clear and present necessity for growth and change.
In order to really capture these two men with respect and compassion, however, McCarten says he had to go beyond taking sides. He had to understand them, to absorb views counter to his own and synthesize something he calls the overarching crisis in the world today: a crisis of listening. In this episode of “The Call Sheet,” McCarten discusses how he simultaneously developed both a screenplay and a play around this material and what the subjects of “The Two Popes” share with some of those towering individuals he’s written as of late.
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszweski
Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are the award-winning screenwriters and producers behind films like “Ed Wood,” “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Man on the Moon.” On the small screen, they were also behind the Emmy-winning miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
Their new movie, “Dolemite Is My Name,” starring Eddie Murphy, tells the story of entrepreneur Rudy Ray Moore, an inspirational figure of the Blaxploitation film movement. The screenwriting duo obviously trades in biopics -- real-life stories about real-life people. But that's a tricky trade. How do you tell the story of a life? What players do you eliminate or consolidate? What timeline do you cover? This week’s episode of “The Call Sheet” covers that ground and a whole lot more!
Rodrigo Prieto is the Oscar-nominated cinematographer behind films such as “25th Hour,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Argo.” In recent years he has worked with filmmaker Martin Scorsese on projects like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Silence.” This year they have “The Irishman,” which, on a technical level, was an absolute beast to tackle.
On this episode of “The Call Sheet” you’ll learn about the R&D that went into developing a proprietary camera rig to allow visual effects artists to “de-age” the film’s stars to play through a series of decades. Prieto also discusses his game plan for visually representing the three distinct time periods of this mammoth 3-and-a-half hour opus.
I have followed Kris Tapley online for a while so when I heard he was teaming up with Netflix I knew I had to give it a shot. I am glad I did. I have only listened to a few of the episodes so far but each conversation has been great and I have learned knew tidbits about the movies that I have not seen at other places. Well worth a shot!
A cinephiles dream podcast!
One of the things I adore is when filmmakers and artists talk to each other about the craft! Every cinephile should subscribe to this podcast !
As Netflix has started to aggressively produce and release their own films it can be easy to loose any one title in the current media landscape.
I’m glad that Kris Tapley is spotlighting the filmmakers behind Netflix titles to give audiences a deep dive in the films that they love while also giving attention to films that they might have missed.